The United Nations suspended all aid shipments into Syria on Tuesday after a deadly attack on a convoy carrying humanitarian supplies, while Washington, expressing outrage at the attack, said a week-old ceasefire was not yet dead.
The attack, described by the United Nations, Red Cross, Western countries and rescue workers on the ground as an air strike, drew condemnation from much of the world.
Russia and the Syrian government denied that their air forces were responsible for destroying a convoy unloading aid. Moscow presented an entirely different explanation, saying it believed the convoy had not been struck from the air at all but had been destroyed by fire, and suggesting that rescue workers who filmed the aftermath were somehow to blame.
The Syrian Red Crescent said the head of one of its local offices and “around 20 civilians” were killed. Other death tolls differed.
The incident appeared likely to deliver a mortal blow to the ceasefire, the latest attempt to halt a war now in its sixth year, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and made a mockery of all previous peace efforts.